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Jobless Claims: Bounce, But Trends Still Mixed

February 9, 2023
Bottom Line:   Jobless claims rose sharply last week after several weeks of declines. The short-term trend in claims remained lower and the medium- to longer-term trends were mixed, with continuing claims still trending slightly higher. Our Nowcast model continues to show claims running above the reported figures and suggests this week is running closer to 230k, near the highs of the last year. Coming off a period of difficult seasonal adjustments, it will likely take some time for the reported data to smooth out. Moreover, some employees who lost jobs in the early rounds of large company layoff announcements last year will start to lose severance pay and could be looking to collect benefits in the coming months. And our Nowcast model would likely start to pick that up several weeks, even months, before the actual claim. So while claims remain historically low, we are watching closely for signs of an uptick in the trend.
Initial Jobless Claims ROSE 13k in the week ended February 4th to 196k, ABOVE the 4-week average of 189.25k, BELOW the 13-week average of 210.84615k and 5k ABOVE the year-ago level. Non-seasonally adjusted Claims ROSE 9.6k.
Continuing Claims ROSE 38k in the week ended January 28th to 1.688M, ABOVE the 4-week average of 1.66475M, ABOVE the 13-week average of 1.643846M but -55k BELOW the year-ago level. Continuing Claims for the 21st of Jan were revised down from +1.655M to +1.65M.
Article by Contingent Macro